USA Roundup: California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, North Dakota


California Gov. Appoints Three to Bureau of Cannabis Control

California Gov. Jerry Brown has made three appointments to the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, including Melanie Ramil, the deputy state director for U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, the Daily Democrat reports.

Ramil, 35, the youngest of the three appointees, previously serving as a field representative for California state Assemblyman Dave Jones from 2006 to 2011, special assistant to the insurance commissioner from 2011 to 2013, and the chief of external affairs at the Community Programs and Policy Institute Branch at the California Department of Insurance from 2013 to 2017 before joining Harris’ staff.

Ricardo DeLaCruz was appointed by Brown as the assistant chief of administration for the agency; he has served as Department of Consumer Affairs’ human resource chief since 2015. From 2014 to 2015, DeLaCruz held the position of personnel officer for the state Department of Rehabilitation, and from 2006 to 2014 held several human resources positions at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Brown also appointed Andre Jones to the bureau, who served as labor organizer and recruiter for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations from 1993 and 1994, before moving to Progressive Campaigns as their Bay Area campaign director from 1994 to 1996. From 1996 to 1997, Jones served as a campaign consultant for the San Francisco 49ers and was a senior associate at Martin and Glantz from 1997 to 1999. From 2004 to 2007 he led the Hearts and Minds Alliance as executive director before moving into the public sector as Oakland Mayor Rebecca Kaplan’s chief of staff from 2008 to 2016. Since 2016, Jones has been a regional director for the Charter Schools Association.




Denver Post  – Exclusive: Traffic fatalities linked to marijuana are up sharply in Colorado. Is legalization to blame? Authorities say the numbers cannot be definitively linked to legalized pot

The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has risen sharply each year since 2013, more than doubling in that time, federal and state data show. A Denver Post analysis of the data and coroner reports provides the most comprehensive look yet into whether roads in the state have become more dangerous since the drug’s legalization.

Increasingly potent levels of marijuana were found in positive-testing drivers who died in crashes in Front Range counties, according to coroner data since 2013 compiled by The Denver Post. Nearly a dozen in 2016 had levels five times the amount allowed by law, and one was at 22 times the limit. Levels were not as elevated in earlier years.


Florida Struggles to Keep Up With Medical Cannabis Patient Applications

During the first three years under Florida’s highly restrictive medical cannabis laws, there were 16,760 people registered for treatment. But since the list of qualifying ailments was expanded to 10, the patient list has nearly doubled to 31,051.

However, the Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use has failed to keep up with the explosive demand, leaving many patients without the state-issued identification needed to purchase pot. The department only has 12 employees, a tall order for an office that handles anywhere from 1,000 to 1,300 phone calls a day. On top of that, there’s around 3,000 applications pending at once.


This week, the Marijuana Legalization Committee announced it plans to hold a public hearing on LR 2395, “An Act To Amend the Marijuana Legalization Act” on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

According to the committee announcement, “LR 2395 is a draft committee bill incorporating the MLI Committee’s recommendations on implementing a regulated adult use marijuana market in Maine. The language in the bill will reflect the decisions reached by the members of the MLI Committee during its meetings over the last number of months.

Although not yet finalized, the draft of the bill will be made publicly available in early September, at which time the public hearing will be formally advertised. More information on the timing, location and conduct of the public hearing will be provided in the next few weeks.”

In anticipation of the public hearing, stay tuned for announcements from MPRM, and if you’d like to submit comment, please reach out.


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